Lake Travis Fiddlers | Keep on the Sunny Side

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Country: Western Swing Country: Traditional Country Moods: Mood: Fun
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Keep on the Sunny Side

by Lake Travis Fiddlers

Debut album features 14 of the best songs that the Fiddlers have performed during the past 12 years; contains traditional fiddle tunes, Western swing songs and various popular selections that lend themselves to a strong fiddle-based approach.
Genre: Country: Western Swing
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Old Joe Clark / Devil's Dream
3:25 $0.99
2. San Antonio Rose
3:14 $0.99
3. Milk Cow Blues (feat. Ray Benson)
4:40 $0.99
4. Bring It On Down to My House
2:58 $0.99
5. Take Five
3:28 $0.99
6. Besame Mucho
2:42 $0.99
7. Eleanor Rigby
2:17 $0.99
8. I'll Fly Away
3:43 $0.99
9. Westphalia Waltz
3:30 $0.99
10. Zemer Atik
4:04 $0.99
11. I Love You, Honey
3:20 $0.99
12. Faded Love / Maiden's Prayer
4:07 $0.99
13. Sweet Pea
2:22 $0.99
14. Keep On the Sunny Side
2:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Lake Travis Fiddlers are proud to announce the release of their debut album, Keep on the Sunny Side, featuring 14 of the best songs that the Fiddlers have performed during the past 12 years. Recorded at Bismeaux Studio in South Austin, the album is a grab bag of tunes from various music genres. The album contains traditional fiddle tunes, Western swing songs, a popular jazz piece, a Mexican bolero, a Beatles tune, a couple of gospel songs, a Texas waltz, a contemporary pop song, a Honky Tonk tune, and an Israeli folk song has been thrown in for good measure. "Some of the songs we play don't fall into the fiddle or Western swing categories but what they all have in common is that they lend themselves to a strong fiddle-based approach," said Anna Macias, director of the group. "We chose Bismeaux Studio because they know how to record fiddles." On the second day of recording band members were excited to see studio owner, Ray Benson, walking towards them in the parking lot. Unfortunately, it was to ask someone to move their car. One of the students had blocked him in. Ray was kind enough to let the student park in his empty space. And he showed even more generosity when he agreed to sing "Milk Cow Blues" on the album!

The Lake Travis Fiddlers is a group of talented Lake Travis middle and high school students who meet before, after, and sometimes during school to learn and play Western swing music. As the primary fundraising performance group for the LTHS Orchestras, they play around the Texas hill country at public events such as festivals and grand openings. The Fiddlers also perform at private events such as birthday parties, banquets, and weddings.

The album is a celebration of the 12-year musical journey taken by the Fiddlers which has been somewhat of a road trip all over the musical map. The CD starts with a medley of traditional old-time fiddle tunes, "Old Joe Clark" and "Devil's Dream." The next three tracks are classic Western swing tunes, the popular "San Antonio Rose" and "Milk Cow Blues" followed by the lesser-known Bob Wills tune "Bring It On Down To My House," arranged for the fiddle group by J.D. Pendley. The album changes gears slightly with the Dave Brubeck Quartet's jazz classic "Take Five" which was arranged for the Fiddlers by Erik Hokkanen. Next, we travel south of the border with a famous bolero, and one of the most sung and recorded Mexican songs in the world, "Besame Mucho." An instrumental version of "Eleanor Rigby" follows. "I'll Fly Away" is the sing-along song on the album. We tried to keep it traditional by leaving out the drums, using the upright bass, rhythm guitar and tenor banjo. And we tried to get a "congregational" feel with the vocals which we hope will encourage folks to sing along with us. "Westphalia Waltz" is an historic Texas waltz. The musical journey takes an interesting turn, perhaps a leap back in time and far away, with "Zemer Atik," a traditional Israeli folk song that Erik Hokkanen introduced to the group. "I Love You, Honey" is our Honky Tonk tune, also arranged by Hokkanen. We return to Texas with the Bob Wills' classics "Faded Love" and "Maiden's Prayer." A fiddle group needs to have at least one contemporary pop song on their debut album; ours is "Sweet Pea," arranged for fiddles by J.D. Pendley. Our journey ends with the overall message and namesake of the album, "Keep on the Sunny Side."

"The album is a good representation of how the group has evolved over the years," said Macias. "We started out playing mostly fiddle tunes with just electric bass and rhythm guitars backing up the fiddles. In time, as the group grew, we were able to add drums and electric guitars, and we found that we could play some Western swing tunes. At some point along the way we began to realize that we enjoyed playing tunes from other closely-related genres. Although our focus is usually fiddle-heavy Western swing tunes, any tune which lends itself to a strong fiddle-based approach is fair game."

As to why it took 12 years to produce an album? Ms. Macias said, "Well, we were probably ready to record a few years ago but we never could come up with the money. So, recording and producing an album sort of stayed in the dream stage. We finally broke down and asked for funding and thanks to a generous grant from the Lake Travis Education Foundation and some financial assistance from the Lake Travis Orchestra Parents we were able to make this dream come true."



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